The Black Rock Beacon has published this history:
Compiled by Mitch, Rockstar and Brandon
Before this year, there were at least six deaths in Black Rock City. An additional number of Burners passed away after being evacuated.
The known deaths, reported by the Black Rock Beacon and other media or the Burning Man organization:
- 2011 – Erika Kupfersberger, cerebral hemorrhage.
- 2007 – Jermaine “Jerm” Barley, suicide by hanging.
- 2006 – Adam Goldstone, a DJ with a known heart condition, died in RV after fainting.
- 2005 – Sam Rich, a member of the fire-dancing group Controlled Burn, heart attack. Rich had sustained a head injury for which he was given stitches on Wednesday, the day before he died.
- 2003 – Katherine Lampman, run over by art car she was exiting.
- 2001 – A participant chose to run into a fire, according to the Afterburn probably the burning of Amazing Larry’s Lucky Seven Ages, the casino built into two large dice in the Deep Playa.
Among other event-related fatalities, an unidentified 52-year-old female Burner died in a Reno hospital after being transported from the Playa in 2010 because of an “unknown” medical condition, according to the Afterburn.
In 2005, a second Burner suffered cardiac arrest on the Playa and died that October after slipping into a coma in the hospital.
One fatality occurred from one of the two aircraft crashes in 2003. Barry Jacobs, the pilot of one of the planes, died after being hospitalized.
Two additional deaths in 2001 associated with the event included a Department of Public Works volunteer who died in a motor vehicle accident on the highway before the event and a second traffic fatality on Highway 447 during Exodus.
Michael Furey died in a motorcycle accident as the event was being set up in 1996.
The last edition of their newspaper was published on Thursday:
Erika Kupfersberger is my sister. She died of cerebral edema – brain-swelling due to over-hydration. Not cerebral edema as we were originally told. We didn’t learn the truth till her autopsy.
*I mean, not an aneurysm as we were told.
What do you mean – she drank too much water?
More like she didn’t replace her salts while she continued to hydrate. She was naturally thin and prob wasn’t eating much at Burning Man, compared to salts lost through sweat etc. When she went to the medical tent, they put her on an IV, without checking her salt levels, further hydrating her. That is when she went into a coma. The autopsy said she died of brain swelling – edema – which can happen if you lose too many salts and water can cross the blood-brain barrier. It happens to athletes sometimes.
Oh dear. I’m so sorry for your loss.
Thanks – she lives on in our hearts!
Orphia, sorry for your loss. At least to me, her mistake is a lesson that I have learned: to take RE-hydration more seriously, and to include salts and electrolytes lost beyond just water. I hope some medical professionals will also take a lesson from her emergency mistreatment.
Too bad this sort of thing, and each death at the NV burn, is not consistently evaluated in a common place as lessons for others to take away. Ironically enough, these are some of the things for the common good that the BOrg could promulgate from the NV burn experience, rather than to be covered up.
Good points. BTW, they actually sell electrolytes at Center Camp now.
Would be nice if someone created an “Erika” list – what we have learned from Burners who have passed on the playa. Can’t help but think she might like that as one of her contributions to all of us.
Why would u post this? Come on. Ive burned 9 years, all of which changed my life. Havent gone for the last 3 and its stuff like this that makes me so discouraged with the life lessons burning man taught werent real. Time to reflect back to what this event is about.
Kudos to Ryan, upon the ‘Embracing an Element of Danger’ article, on the awesome Embrace. Kudos to Matt Schultz, and, the awesome Pier Group, for Embrace, The Pier, the ship, and other awesome art.
When the BMOrg pisses upon Burners as awesome as Matt, and of the Pier Group, the shark has been jumped.
Apologies, Mitch, your paper is not controlled by the BMOrg, kudos on your labours. But, your numbers, of the ‘retirement fund’ of the BMOrg, within your prior article, are over $30 million too small, as my comments upon the prior post state.
burnersxxx, upon confirmation of what I am of the belief to be the lie, by the BMOrg, as of the payments of cash towards the BLM within 2013, I now desire to update their cash out post. The manner upon which the BMOrg treated the awesome Pier Group is Beyond Belief.